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Playing Dirty: Central Michigan

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Baby Got MAC

New Mexico Bowl - Central Michigan v San Diego State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

It’s game time again as LSU takes on an unfamiliar opponent: the Central Michigan Chippewas. You probably thought I couldn’t find a CMU football expert, but let me tell you the internet has everything. So a big shoutout to our friend James at Hustle Belt for answering our questions.

1. Central Michigan, that’s the one with the gray field turf right? Wait shit or is this the one PJ Fleck was at? What about the one where Tim Allen sold cocaine? Tell us what makes CMU special and different from the other directional Michigan schools.

CMU is the directional Michigan that’s out in the middle of the farmlands of the middle lower peninsula (yes, there’s a difference between the regions of the lower peninsula of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. No, I’m not going to explain it here.) Which is to say, we’re the country one. We ain’t those metropolitan city slickers like WMU or EMU, that’s for sure.

Jeff Daniels is probably the most famous non-football alum of CMU to most casual viewers, and at one point, he was the Voice of Pure Michigan, so TAKE THAT, HATERS, we’ve got the “Dumb” half of Dumb and Dumber! Oh, and we’re also one of the handful of schools which has an Indigenous name for our sporting teams, and that’s because we have a wonderful relationship with the Saginaw Chippewa tribe which allows us to use it in good faith as long as we promote their history and traditions (which we do!) You’ll often come across Tribal Police at CMU gamedays, as CMU (and much of Mt. Pleasant) is surrounded by reservation land. Neat!

2. There’s a good chance it will be a very rainy game at Tiger Stadium Saturday. How is Jim McElwain gonna respond to a team playing a game despite a nearby hurricane?

Football is football is football. Ol’ Mac’s gameplan of “run the damn ball and also maybe pass sometimes, but not too much” should translate just fine to a rain game. He’ll take to it like a fish to water; this ain’t his first time playing football Down South.

3. Speaking of ole Jimmy, how has he been getting by in a “Central” school far from any water and sea creatures?

He lives in a big barn-like complex that’s within driving distance of the Chippewa River, so take that as you will.

4. Do y’all get the SEC Network in Michigan? How are Chippewa fans planning on watching this?

Somehow... we do! Damn you ESS EE SEE cultists and your insistence on watching Southern-fried college football wherever you are. How would you feel if I came down south and demanded ESPN create the MAC Network so I could force y’all to watch 24/7 re-runs of Tuesday night #MACtion games and documentaries on Muncie, the Crown Jewel of Indiana?

I will personally be watching it on the cable box, like it’s 2003. The ability to rewind and fast forward is invaluable to me. Just another thing lost in the transition to streaming services.

5. LSU doesn’t play MAC schools that often. Our relationship with the MAC has mostly consisted of us getting Heisman and championship-winning QBs whose dads coached at a MAC school. Do you know if any CMU coaches have any sons who would like to come win a Heisman and championship at LSU?

Oh man, you missed the boat on Adam Jones by a couple months. Jim McElwain recruited Butch Jones’ kid as a backup slot receiver and he actually got some reps in his two years on campus. Adam followed his dad down to Arkansas State, so you’ll have to deal with them if you really want your next Biletnikoff/Maxwell/Heisman Award winner. Sorry!